New Court Decision: Pregnancy Discrimination Includes Infertility

Posted on May 17, 2016 in Disputes, Employee Issues

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For companies with employees, there’s a new rule in town (at least, in Chicago’s federal court): Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, women cannot be fired from their jobs for needing time off for infertility treatments.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal online, the ruling involved “a secretary who was laid off after taking time off for in vitro fertilization, then asking for more [time off for a further procedure]. Without ruling on the merits of her case, the court last month set a precedent by giving Ms. Hall a green light to sue her former employer for pregnancy-related bias.” Apparently, the plaintiff had been singled out for absenteeism as a result of seeking in vitro fertilization treatments.

For now, the decision applies only in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, as it’s the first time a case like this has made its way to a formal (public) court hearing. However, other jurisdictions could pick up on it and adopt it in their own.

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